BAFS plans foray into electric truck venture

BAFS plans foray into electric truck venture

An electric truck piloted by BAFS for its jet refuelling service.
An electric truck piloted by BAFS for its jet refuelling service.

SET-listed Bangkok Aviation Fuel Services Plc (BAFS) plans to venture into the production of electric trucks for jet refuelling service as part of attempts to depend less on its core business revenue.

The company looks forward to making trucks to serve markets in Southeast Asia, said ML Nathasit Diskul, president of BAFS.

The move followed its launch of an electric vehicle (EV) for aviation refuelling, also called "EV Hydrant Dispenser", for the first time in Thailand and Southeast Asia to serve Air Asia airplanes flying from Don Mueang airport to Phuket airport in September.

EV Hydrant Dispenser can help cut carbon dioxide emitted by a diesel-powered truck by 90%.

The new vehicle can run for a distance of 170 kilometres per one charge.

BAFS recently signed an agreement with an electric truck technology developer on the regional production of electric trucks but declined to name the company, saying only that it is a Europe-based firm.

Its wholly-owned BAFS Intech Co will operate the new venture.

Venturing into new businesses is part of BAFS's business restructuring plan to have more sources of revenue after decades of dependence on jet refuelling service, which accounts for 80-90% of total earnings.

ML Nathasit expects sales from jet refuelling services at Don Mueang and Suvarnabhumi airports to grow by 125% to 3.994 billion litres in 2022, up from 1.772 billion litres in 2021, thanks to the reopening of the country.

However, 2022 sales will be only 65% of 2019 sales which stood at 6.14 billion litres before the Covid-19 pandemic hit Thailand in early 2020.

ML Nathasit was reserved about estimating when the sales volume will return to the 2019 level.

Over the past several years, BAFS diversified into new businesses including infrastructure development and electricity generation. It aims to reduce jet refuelling services by half by the end of 2026, with the remainder being new businesses.

The company has allocated capital spending worth 14 billion baht over the next five years to achieve this goal.

Earlier in 2021, BAFS acquired two more solar power plants in Japan from Padaeng Industry Plc in a deal worth ¥2.5 billion (760 million baht) in a bid to generate income from clean energy and get through the impact of Covid-19.

The acquisition aimed to offset a drop in revenue of the company's core business, caused by strict travel restrictions imposed to contain the spread of the highly contagious virus.

The investment will increase the number of its solar power plants to nine, with combined capacity of 49.4 megawatts.

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